OLEAN, N.Y. (WKBW) — Kevin Dougherty is an alderman for the Common Council of Olean. He’s in his second term of representing the Fourth Ward. He’ll post videos on YouTube once every week or so. His most recent video,which you can watch by clicking this link, is causing a bit of a stir.
In the video, posted on April 20th, he is apparently smoking marijuana from a bong.
“I think it pushes the cause for it. But I think it also supports awareness which is the primary goal for any cause,” explained Dougherty in a Skype interview about his video.
Smoking recreational marijuana is still illegal in New York, despite several states passing laws allowing it.
“Change the laws first,” said John Crawford. He’s the Olean common council president.
Crawford is for legal marijuana. He thinks it will have a positive impact on Olean. But he says, Dougherty is breaking the law and something must be done about it.
“If we start to selectively follow the rules. Then how can we pass legislation and require our citizens to follow them,” said Crawford. “I think this is going to require some serious investigation. I think we'll probably have to launch an internal investigation.”
Dougherty doesn't think the city has a case when it comes to an ethics review.
“It was not on city property,” said Dougherty. “I would think it would be very tough to prove any of the circumstantial stuff you see on a YouTube video.”
In his video Dougherty says he smokes marijuana maybe once a year. He believes that legalizing recreational marijuana is long past due. He is up for re-election later this year.